We get it, your attachment with your family is supposed to be this fictitious bond that nobody and nothing can break—however, sometimes it’s okay to distance yourself from certain family members, even if that means cutting them off indefinitely.

You should never compromise your mental, emotional or physical health for the sake of tolerating a toxic family member.

But, Before you start blocking, it’s important to recognize the signs of a toxic person:

1. They’re judgmental :

Useful criticism is healthy, but persistent, unwarranted criticism can depreciate anyone’s self-esteem.

2. They feed off drama.

Have you ever turned to a family member for some personal advice? Yet, somehow after you’ve shared your most helpless moments with them—someone you thought was a trusted partner—somehow everyone in your family knows everything about your personal life.

3. They gaslight you.

If your family member frequently claims they never said something, when you and everyone else knows they did, it might not seem that serious. However, this is a form of gaslighting, which is highly emotionally abusive behavior.

4. They only talk to you when they need something from you.

Often, they’ll go to you for advice or emotional comfort. But once you turn to them for support, they refuse your needs or hold your personal information against you.

5. They flip-flop between positive and negative reinforcement.

They can lash out at you, shout and insult you. However, once you ignore them after this senseless attack, they’ll likely tempt you back into their trap by offering you pseudo-praise and support. Typically these positive interactions are short-lived before this individual goes back to their typical manipulative behavior.

If anyone in your family displays any of these symptoms of toxic (i.e., abusive) behavior, they’re putting your mental health in danger.